complacency, educate, enlarge, expose, faith and dependence on God, faith in the last words Christ spoke, grow up before I grow old, John Wimber quote, Luke 8:22-25, only concerned about life and limb, priorities twisted, Sandy recovery, self delusion, vulnerable to any storm, where is your faith
22 Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out. 23 But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger. 24 They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.25 And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” Luke 8:22-25
Someone once said whether we like it or not, storms do three things for us… Storms educate, enlarge, and expose us. I am referring to both physical and/or spiritual storms. Think about the storms you personally have been through in life. Think about the people and communities which have just endured Sandy’s wrath. Their recovery is still on-going.
Storms Educate Us.
We are reminded every time a major hurricane hits our shores that the ecological system near the shoreline is fragile. In addition, no matter how well built the houses along the shore are constructed, they can be destroyed in moments. The coastal areas are vulnerable to any storm… even small ones.
Every storm we face should re-educate us on how vulnerable we are and how much we need each other and the Lord. Unfortunately, these lessons are short-lived. Years without storms create complacency and self-delusion.
Storms Enlarge Us.
Storms cause us to create and learn more about ourselves. By stretching personal resources, storms cause us to think beyond ourselves. We tend to streamline aid, become more efficient, and learn to multitask.
Storms are supposed to increase our faith and dependence on God. This was the purpose of the storm in Jesus’ day. If we fail to learn these basic lessons, another storm will be arriving… shortly.
Storms Expose Us.
This is the area I primarily want to focus upon in the next few blogs. Look at how certain areas have been exposed by storms in the past few years. People thought they could depend on certain groups and programs to help them cope and recover. Recent storms only proved and revealed that certain portions of the population were vulnerable and are still vulnerable.
The truth is storms eventually come to all. None of us really want to be educated, enlarged, or exposed. The rains, wind, and lighting eventually reach everyone. When it was all said and done, Jesus’ only question to His disciples was… “Where is your faith?” While they were concerned about life and limb, Jesus was concerned about faith.
Does this sound strange? It only sounds strange if your priorities are twisted. If you have spent the last four hours bailing out a sinking boat… If you have been angry with Jesus for sleeping during the storm… If you have been picturing yourself drowning… If you have lost all hope… Then Jesus’ words sound foreign.
Your faith just might be on life support today, but the day is not over. You can find the last words the Lord spoke to you and get back on course. The Lord is not looking to see if you are still running hard or trying with all your might or fighting the good fight… He is looking for faith. Your faith should be in the last words He spoke to you. Where is your faith? Is your faith in your boat or in your Lord?